Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Benjamin Martin, born February 5, 1995, was a 17-year-old African-American high school student who was shot and killed by Geeorge Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch leader on February 26, 2012 in Sanford Florida, where, Martin was visiting his father.Zimmerman saw Martin walking on the sidewalk with a hoodie on and called police stating his looked suspicious. Despite the fact that police told Zimmerman to stop following the youth, he continued to do so and eventually got out of van and got into a physical altercation which resulted in Martin being shot and killed.

According to family and friends, Trayvon Martin was just like most any other teenager.He enjoyed listening to all types of music, going to the movies and the roller rink with his friends.. When Martin entered high school, his childhood goals of a career on the football field were replaced with his dreams of working in the aviation field..During high school, Martin also volunteered his time at the concession stand at Forzano Park where he had played football since he was five, on a team coached by Jerome Horton and his father.

Martin's parents had divorced when he was five, but they shared joint custody and he was exposed to multiple positive experiences, including skiing, horseback riding and a trip to New York City to take in the sights. He was a good student but had recently been suspended when trace amounts of marijuana were found in his bookbag. Martin had recently come out of a jiffy store where he had bought a snack and drink. The cashier did not notice any suspicous or violent behavoir from him. While he was walking he complained to a friend on his cell phone that a van was following him and causing him to worry about the man's intentions.

After that only George Zimmerman's story is told. He will tell law enforcement he shot Trayvon Martin out of self defense that he was afraid for his life. However Zimmerman was a grown man, armed with a gun, and safely locked inside his van. It's hard to believe a 17 year old youth with no weapon, no motive, and no history of violence could have been a legitimate threat.

George Zimmerman had a dream of going into law enforcement but his application to the Sanford Police was denied. Instead he became the coordinator of a neighborhood watch group in his Sanford neighborhood. Although not required and often frowned upon by law enforcement, Zimmerman always carried a gun on his watch. He made multiple calls of suspicous people in the neighborhood while on watch, who were always African Americans. At the trial the prosecution had little testimony except for Zimmerman's version of what happened. Trayvon Martin was dead and unable to tell his side of the story.

George Zimmerman was aquitted of the crime and the outcome sparked protests around the country His racial profing of a suspicious African American walking in his neighborhood defined racial inequality in America. Since his aquital George Zimmerman has been arrested for violence or carrying a concealed weapon multiple times. Both his ex-wife, who was married to him during the trial and his girlfriend have accused him of domestic battery.

Trayvon Martin's tragic death sparked many debates and protests and was the first conerstone in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Click on the links below for detailed information and photos on the historic eras of Black history in the United States

The begining - The Revolutionary War

African-American history starts in the 17th century with indentured servitude in the American colonies

The Cotton South - The Civil War

As the cotton-based economy boomed so did slavery, since slaves were needed to man the large-scale and labor-intensive plantations.

Reconstruction Years

The end of Reconstruction was a staggered process, and the period of Republican control ended at different times in different states.

The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance was a literary and intellectual flowering that fostered a new black cultural identity that began in Harlem, New York.

Civil Rights Movement

Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X are some of the names that come to mind when we think of the Civil Rights Movement.

Black Lives Matter

In 2013 a new movement to promote justice for African Americans began. Black Lives Matter has swept the nation protesting vilence and injustice.



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